Leading Technology and Sustainability Practices in the World of Wellbeing
Therme Group, the global wellbeing organisation and developer of some of the largest water-based attractions in the world, is driven by the belief that wellbeing should be accessible to all. The use of sustainable and energy efficient technologies is essential in delivering this inclusive and affordable customer experience.
All Therme Group projects incorporate the most advanced approaches available, including the recently approved Therme Manchester, which will be the UK’s first city-based wellbeing resort. Other Therme Group projects are under development in the United Kingdom, mainland Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.
Among hundreds of innovative approaches, Therme Group draws on state-of-the-art heat exchange solutions, provided by sister company Güntner Group and parent A-Heat to deploy energy-efficient technologies throughout its facilities.
Therme Bucharest, the group’s most recently completed resort, welcomes 1.3 million visitors a year. It received the first LEED Platinum certification in the world for its industry category, making it the world’s first fully sustainable thermal resort. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, recognises best-in-class building strategies and practices in green building. A Platinum rating is equivalent to BREEAM Outstanding in the UK.
Integral to the operation of Therme Bucharest is the use of geothermal water, extracted from a depth of over 3,100m. The water purification treatment used, ozonation, is the most effective treatment available and leaves no residue or odour. Oxidizing organic matter in water, it eliminates bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms and also acts as a disinfectant.
Extracted at a temperature of over 80 degrees, the geothermal water is used both for heating, and then, after passing through the five-step treatment system, it provides perfect clear water for the swimming pools, mineral therapy pools and wellness pools. The entire volume of water in the pools is filtered and recirculated every four hours.
Therme Bucharest has been officially certified by Institut Fresenius SGS for meeting the highest standards required for spas, health resorts and natural thermal spas. SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, being recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. The water treatment process used combines natural filtration, using sand and charcoal filtration, with high-end ozone solutions, which allows the water to keep all its essential minerals.
With nature at its heart, Therme Bucharest is home to 1,500 exotic palm trees and bio-diverse botanical gardens, which require a constant tropical microclimate, despite an average annual external temperature fluctuation of more than 40°C.
Uniquely, Therme Bucharest has an advanced system to automatically care for its palm trees and more than 200 species of plants. The technical service area underneath the main building contains a palm tree “smart “monitoring and care system, which was specially created by Therme Group and is unique to Therme Bucharest. This bespoke technology monitors each tree’s key indicators, including humidity and root temperature, to then deliver the necessary water, cooled air and nutrients needed to optimise plant health, based on the differing needs of each species.
A major challenge which Therme Group was able to overcome was incorporating a large, retractable glass roof into the development, which spans over 32m, in a seismic area. The roof weighs in excess of 150 tons and covers 900 sqm and is the world’s largest retractable glass roof in a seismic region. This not only allows natural ventilation but also natural cooling, thus meaning that air conditioning is not required in the main zones, for a country that reaches up to 35oC in summer. Furthermore, the retractable roof allows for uninterrupted natural light at a carefully selected lumen count in the central area, creating an optimised wellbeing environment. Under normal operation, increased ventilation rates were provided to allow for 30% improvements from baseline levels in relation to ASHRAE 62.1-2007 standards. For safety and stability, the whole structure is designed and built to withstand earthquakes of a magnitude of 8 on the Richter scale. The rooftop windowpanes feature anti-hurricane foils that allows structure integrity of the window in case of broken or fractured glass, thus ensuring the safety and comfort of the people below the roof.
As part of its commitment to long-term sustainability, Therme Group projects are created with a far longer lifespan than other developments, with facilities designed to remain in operation for 100 years or more. The organisation uses sustainably produced, highly durable materials in every project, sourced locally whenever possible, with all wood FSC certified, ensuring environmentally responsible forest management. High end efficiency façade construction offers the lowest heat loss, best UV protection and most efficient light transfer available and all flooring systems, composite wood, sealants and adhesive used have the lowest possible VOC emission values.
All Therme Group resorts use state-of-the-art plant-based filtration to purify the environment, so guests are always breathing the freshest air and swimming in the cleanest ozone-treated water. The technology-driven group meets the highest hygiene and safety standards for both guests and staff alike. It is also constantly developing new approaches and working with public authorities to meet future health & wellbeing needs. This ensures long-term commercial viability and secures the role of Therme Group’s resorts as an essential piece of public and social infrastructure.
Occupying a 28-acre site, Therme Manchester will be the largest and the most technologically advanced wellbeing facility in Europe, around twice the size of Therme Bucharest, taking the application of sustainability technologies to the next level of excellence in all areas. Further technical details of the project will be made available throughout the course of the development. Other projects are in development worldwide, with details to be announced.